Rachel. new mom.
When Birth Plans Change: Jasper's Birth Story
While we do everything we can to make sure our moms can labor and deliver at Baby+Company, there are times when a hospital transfer is either desired or necessary. New mom Rachel Hagler had a long labor at Baby+Company in Nashville and ultimately transferred to Vanderbilt.
We’re excited to share her story with you, because although the process wasn’t quite what Rachel had hoped or planned for, the outcome was more than happy! She tells us about it:
“We’d seen an OB-GYN for the first and second trimester, and while she was sweet, I was drawn to the midwifery model. My cousin is a wonderful doula and had gotten me thinking about it, so I started researching birth centers when I was six or seven months along. We heard about Baby+Company from friends, and when we did the tour (at 31 weeks!) I immediately saw that the attention, care, and concern they have is on a totally different level. I switched that same day – I knew it was where we should be.
I was a week overdue with my son, and my husband, Matt, and I were trying all different kinds of things to get labor started. On Monday morning, my water broke at 3:30. I called Baby+Company, and the midwife told me to rest because my contractions were inconsistent. It was tough to sleep knowing that things were finally moving! I went to my appointment at 1:30 that afternoon, but they sent me home because my contractions still weren’t regular. I labored at home until 10 o’clock that night, when we headed for the birth center for a change of scenery. We were hoping that being at the birth center might help me mentally prepare and move things along.
It was very calm and peaceful – just like being at home, except with incredible medical care at my fingertips. I labored in the tub and the bed and tried using the Pilates bar. After six hours, Taneesha came in to discuss my options. She was very honest but also nurturing. Things weren’t progressing much for me, and she told me very straightforwardly that I could transfer to Vanderbilt, or I could continue to labor at Baby+Company (although I might still have to transfer later). At that point, I was physically and mentally exhausted. I wanted to get to the hospital so I’d be able to have an epidural if I needed it, as well as Pitocin to get things moving.
The transfer was painless. Vanderbilt is only five minutes away, and Taneesha had made sure everything was set up in advance. They took me to a room immediately. It was a big change in environment – the lights were brighter and things were much noisier and busier, so it was a bit jarring at first. Taneesha suggested I transfer right at seven in the morning when there was a shift change, so I had the same midwives the whole time. They explained my options and Taneesha told me what would happen. I got an epidural and Pitocin and finally managed to get some sleep.
When I woke up, I was in transition. I pushed for three hours – I could see his little head in the mirror! – but the baby went into distress and they decided I needed an emergency C-section. After over 35 hours of labor, Jasper was finally born at 4:44 in the afternoon. He had a collapsed lung and had to go to NICU, but after two days he was healthy and ready to go home.
The experience was stressful, but we felt taken care of the whole time. The midwives at Baby+Company and Vanderbilt kept us informed about everything that was going on and laid out all our options. They were always by our side. The experience obviously wasn’t what we had expected, but my goal in choosing a midwife was to ensure that I felt supported and informed, and I certainly did. The midwives from Baby+Company came by within 24 hours to check on us and talk with my husband and I about how we were feeling emotionally. It was really helpful to have them speak to us about how we felt about the whole experience, and went a long way toward helping me reconcile what I wanted to have happen with what actually happened.”